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@ WORK: Doug Hutchins

COMPANY: WW Cannon
TITLE: Warehouse Lifeguard
YEARS ON JOB: 4 Years

I came to WW Cannon four years ago after meeting Greg and Sonia Brown in previous job. At the time, I was running my own business where I managed technology for families. I came up with a technology plan for the Browns and later Greg approached me about selling products for him because he liked my sales style. I was attracted to the fact that integrity is a core value at the company. In the four years since I joined the company, I have come up with the “Warehouse Lifeguard” branding and started putting together YouTube videos based on that persona. Those videos are a great and relateable way to market our safety solutions to potential warehousing clients. I pretty much eat, sleep and breathe in our warehouses and manufacturing plants. That’s really where I live. When I go into one plant, I can use the experience I have and take the knowledge of how other plants are running efficiently and take what I see and share that with the customer and other environments.

Attention to Detail

There’s kind of a big joke that salespeople aren’t detail-oriented and the people who are doing the installation are. And I think that the salesperson who is tuned into the minute details is at a big advantage. Most salespeople are so motivated to sell that they may lose sight of those small details. If you call something that is 2.75 inches, 3 inches, it could literally prevent a $100,000 system from fitting where it’s supposed to go. In this industry, the details are so important. Even moreso than most industries. Like football, this game of material handling is a game of inches.

Communication

In sales, you have to become an expert in all forms of communication. However, when my customer wants to communicate, I have to be able to communicate in a professional manner. From faxing, to emails, to phone calls to now even text messaging, I have to be able to do it well and in a timely manner. And strong communication goes beyond speaking. You have to be a good listener. Another big knock on salespeople is that they do all of the talking. Knowing that these customers have this kind of idea and this experience of what it’s like to work with a salesperson, because I’m self aware of that, it gives me an advantage when I go in and ask very specific and strategic questions and then just sit back and listen.

Tools of the Trade

Beyond the obvious tools that every salesperson requires, phone, email, computer, etc. the one thing I find that I would be completely lost without is my measuring tape. It’s absolutely shocking how many times I’ve gone out to a customer on a potential job to replace a project that wasn’t measured correctly. It’s the easiest thing in the world but we make a lot of money simply repairing projects that other people didn’t measure correctly.

Technology

Being tech savvy is becoming more and more of an advantage as the years go by. In year one here, it was helpful and I was able to help the company with some processes. But now in year four, it’s more helpful and more of an advantage for the customer. There is a new generation of employees in these plants and they’re wanting to see more video, more apps, more quick quoting. They want to see more media and they’re going less and less toward the catalog.